The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday said the party will welcome the support of anyone in national interest, even as most exit polls and its own predictions give a majority to the National Democratic Alliance led by it.
BJP leader Amit Shah claimed the NDA would get anywhere between 290 and 305 seats, including 50 to 55 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh where he was in-charge of the party affairs.
"We fought for 272+ seats and we are getting them. Any party who has even a single MP and wants to support us, we will welcome it in national interest," he told reporters.
Asked if the BJP has established contacts with prospective new allies, Shah declined to answer it.
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Narendra Modi had in recent interviews also said the BJP is open to the support of allies even though it will get a majority of its own.
Asked about the future role of senior BJP leaders like L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, Shah said the party's parliamentary board, the supreme decision-making body, would take a call on it.
To a question on his own future role if the party comes to power, he said, "I will abide by the party decision." He claimed the whole election was in favour of the BJP and gave credit to Modi and the party cadres. "It will be BJP's and Narendra Modi's victory," he said.
Asked about BJP's strategy in improving its tally of seats in UP, he said the state was divided in 30 blocks, with each block having a few seats and a different strategy was adopted for each of them.
Modi's close aide, who was sent specially by the BJP prime ministerial candidate to work in Uttar Pradesh, said he had to work a lot to tone up the party's organisational structure and hoped the party would emerge victorious in 50 to 55 seats. He hoped the BJP would make major gains in western and eastern Uttar Pradesh.
The BJP leader claimed Bahujan Samaj Party, which has been decimated by many exit polls, will emerge as the second player in the current Lok Sabha polls.
As exit polls projected regional parties in power in some states to face a drubbing in Lok Sabha elections, Shah said these parties will lose their authority to rule once the mandate goes against them.
"When they do not get a mandate from the people, they lose the moral authority to rule," he said, in an apparent reference to Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal-United in Bihar and Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh.
On Punjab, where the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal in alliance with the BJP is facing anti-incumbency, the BJP leader said the earlier exit polls about the state have been proved wrong and hoped the same this time too.
Asked about the support received by BJP from Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh volunteers in the Lok Sabha elections, Shah said, "Not just Sangh, a number of nationalist organisations openly supported the BJP and the party will largely benefit from that."
While predicting more than 35 seats for the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance in Maharashtra, he hoped a good number for the BJP in Bihar as well and said the party's vote share in West Bengal is likely to see a major increase but could not confirm if it will translate in seats there.
Asked about Varanasi's development if Modi wins from there and retains the seat, he said the area and the state will see major development. He said the river Ganges was already declared a national river and the central government can bring about a lot of development even though the state is ruled by the Samajwadi Party.
Image: A BJP supporter during a rally